About the Project
Named for one of the famous amusement parks of Coney Island’s heyday, The Dreamland Artist Club consisted of more than twenty-five emerging and established artists who repainted rides and created custom signs, murals, and scenic backdrops for a range of Coney Island attractions. As a long-time admirer of the fading craft of sign painting, curator Steve Powers looked for inspiration in the tradition of colorful, hand-painted signage and advertisements that date back more than a century in the community.
Like Powers, each of the participating artists had a personal, social, or aesthetic interest in the visual culture of the area; many were from Brooklyn or greater New York, though some came from Chicago and Los Angeles to participate. With a dramatic range of styles and practices, The Dreamland Artist Club offered a sampling of this era’s artistry and imagination to Coney Island, as well as proposed a new model for creative urban revitalization strategies that both compliments and builds upon the existing character of this legendary New York neighborhood.
Photograph by Charlie Samuels